A collection of fifteen short nonfiction works in the public domain. The essays, speeches, news items and reports included in these collections are independently selected by the readers, and the topics encompass history, politics, philosophy, nature, religion, etc.
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March 5, 2010 Subject:
These "collections" of short works ...
... never seem to get reviewed, because they typically consist of a bunch of unrelated pieces. Too bad the Archive doesn't give each its own page, because there are often some gems. I'm only reviewing four tracks here.
1. The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism, by A. E. Housman. This is a great, cranky essay about the failings Housman saw in his fellow textual critics -- basically, that they refused to think critically and made specious generalizations. The bits of Latin he quotes might not mean anything to me, but everything else comes through and is still relevant. The female, high-voiced, British-sounding reader gives an excellent, clear, expressive reading. Good recording quality, no skips or pops. Five stars. *****
10. The Place of Science in a Liberal Education, by Bertrand Russell. A thoughtful essay. Good, clear reading by a female, American-sounding reader. Good recording quality. Four stars. ****
11. A Plea for Captain John Brown, by Henry David Thoreau. A very passionate defense of the abolitionist John Brown, almost a canonization. The male, American-sounding reader is clear and fairly expressive. Good recording quality. Four stars. ****
15. The Wonderful Discovery of Elizabeth Sawyer, a Witch, by Henry Goodcole. Actually the full title is "The wonderfull discouerie of Elizabeth SaWyer a Witch, late of Edmonton, her conuiction and condemnation and Death. Together with the relation of the Diuels accesse to her, and their conference together," and it was written in 1621. As you can imagine, this is awesome, as well as very unsettling. The reader (male and British-sounding, and very expressive) gives the poor condemned woman an accent and a rather silly voice, and the sheer ridiculousness of her confession makes it all hilarious and disturbing. Very good recording quality, in my opinion. Five stars. *****